The founding of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the first of May in 1882, is annually celebrated with a concert in a European city of cultural significance. For this newly released EUROPAKONZERT Blu-ray Disc all recordings were lovingly restored and converted to High Definition video. The Berliner Philharmoniker are joined for Mozart’s Motet and Mass on this recording by Christine Schäfer, whose unique timbre and performing style has more than once been likened to those of other vocal greats such as Irmgard Seefried and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. This round of exceptional musicians is completed by Emanuel Ax, winner the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, as the soloist for the works of Chopin and Schumann.
Throughout his four-decades-plus career as one of Brazil's most popular singers, Gilberto Gil has restlessly sought new avenues of expression, from the heady and fiery psychedelic Tropicalia of the '60s to his 2002 album of Bob Marley covers, Kaya N'Gan Daya. But there was one thing Gil had never attempted until now, an album spotlighting nothing but his voice and guitar. Gil Luminoso is, by its very nature, one of the most intimate recordings he has ever made and, not surprisingly, one of the loveliest and most moving.
Once again combining softened elegance with his gentlemanly approach to the simple love song, Chris de Burgh remains true to form on Quiet Revolution with polished ballads and morning-friendly, mid-tempo material. de Burgh's style hasn't strayed since "The Lady in Red" peaked at number three in 1987, and from that point on he has tried to emulate the same success with his romantic formula of ballroom-type love songs and delicate lyrics. Although Quiet Revolution offers up a handful of these, some of the other tracks exhibit punchy melodies that still display de Burgh's heartfelt voice…
Fifteen years before Chopin wrote his first “nocturne”, Irish pianist/composer John Field composed his Nocturne No. 1 in E-flat major, followed by at least 15 more pieces in the same style. In these short works for solo piano, Field–who was one of the most celebrated pianists in the world during the first quarter of the 19th century–put form to the idea of a contemplative, lyrical composition, specifically tailored to the piano’s expressive capabilities. These “night” pieces are primarily characterized by a dominant, gracefully flowing melody, with most of the harmonic activity in the pianist’s left hand. Although other pianists have recorded at least some of Field’s Nocturnes–most notably John O’Conor (Telarc) and Miceál O’Rourke (Chandos)–Benjamin Frith’s own uniquely inflected, poetic readings have a satisfying aura of intimacy cast in the warm colors of his well-tempered, expertly recorded piano. Although O’Conor’s playing is more lyrical, with more fluid legatos, Frith generally takes more time–and these invariably lovely pieces blossom just as fully and brilliantly.